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The Burden of Productivity

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

“I want to go back home and sleep!”, says everybody who steps out of their house and leaves for work. But when they are at home, working from home and spending time with their family it becomes “I am stuck at home!”. Home is a symbol of comfort and safety. We all daydream about doing stuff when coming back home. Changing into pyjamas is a dream and eating homemade food is healthy (or luxury for some). 

As soon as, a person leaves their house they try to build this comfort in the outside world. You make friends who replace your family. You set up your desk just like your bed. You find a lovely restaurant that replaces mom’s food. This outside world grows on you. You become addicted to this world. For instance, you take your work back home, always on phone with friends, still, order pizza or burger over mom’s food. 

Even though we complain about our work and timings or daydream about activities that we can do at home instead; when we do get this time some of us do not act in the desired way. 

We are asked to stay at home by our government and protect others. This is a crucial time for the world. While some are getting infected, the capitalist society has found a way to increase this pressure by asking people to be productive and utilize this time wisely!

But what about those who are not productive? Who cannot find the motivation to work? This expectation comes from all corners. For example, workout at home by celebrities, online classes and endless assignments by educational institutions, or work from home by the workplace.

Frankly, my schedule during this quarantine has gone down the gutter. My sleep pattern is chaotic. Can’t sleep before 3 or 4 and can’t wake up before 12 or 1. While my mom expects me to get up at 8 and clean the house! I rarely study for the exams or try to work out. Most of my day goes in washing utensils or ironing the clothes! Now is this productive? 

Also what about those for whom leaving the house and going out was an escape from everyday fights or an unhealthy environment? What about those who are victims of domestic violence? What about those kids who have toxic parents? 

Expecting people to utilize this lockdown to spend time with family or learning something new is acceptable only to a point where it is healthy and helps people to calm down their nerves from all the ongoing medical crisis. 

It is absolutely okay if you are not in the mood to do something. It is a major life change that is taking place. After this quarantine is over our lives will change. Getting anxious or depressed can be a common reaction to this change. Do what you want to do, what you are capable of doing. Set your goals or schedule according to your way. You don’t have to compare your life or way of coping with someone else. Everyone has a different way of dealing with time. 

This world has always us taught to compete. Never slow down. If a child cannot speak in 5 languages or doesn’t know how to play an instrument, it doesn’t mean that he is a failure. If a mother is not able to multi-task her work from home and her kids, she is not a failure. It's okay to slow down and take a break. We need rest and we need to process our emotions. 

The big question is when did this pandemic become a competition? If you are at home you must be free! If you are at home you can read 10 books! No, it doesn’t happen like this. Pandemic is not about competing or using people to push their limits without their everyday resources. The only way we all can come out of this pandemic as a winner is by surviving it and staying at home for our loved ones. 

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